Latest Blog Posts

George R.R. Martin explains the 'Game of Thrones' shocker

George R.R. Martin explains the "Game of Thrones" shocker
"I knew it almost from the beginning," he says of the developments in "The Rains of Castamere." "Not the first day, but very soon. I've said in many interviews that I like my fiction to be unpredictable. I like there to be considerable suspense." He adds: "That was the hardest scene I’ve ever had to write. It’s two-thirds of the way through the book, but I skipped over it when I came to it. So the entire book was done and there was still that one chapter left. Then I wrote it." PLUS: The final scene was impeccably well-constructed, the ending will be hard to forget, the episode went too far, congrats if you were unspoiled, "Thrones" characters get 90s makeovers, the scene took 1 week to film, and Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley discuss the episode.

"The Sopranos" named the No. 1 best-written TV show of all time, "Seinfeld" No. 2
The Writers Guild of America's list of the "101 Best Written TV Series of All Time" also includes No. 7 "Mad Men," No. 9 "The Wire," No. 10 "The West Wing," No. 11 "The Simpsons," No. 12 "I Love Lucy" and No. 13 "Breaking Bad."

"All in the Family's" Jean Stapleton: An appreciation
Stapleton's Edith Bunker on "All in the Family" was truly different, says Neil Genzlinger. "What set Ms. Stapleton's work in the show apart was her ability to create a character who was not imprisoned by her own daffiness," he explains. "There have been plenty of female airheads on television: bikinied bimbos, empty-headed housewives, batty old broads. But only a few have been able to make the kinds of transitions from the comic to the dramatic that were asked of Ms. Stapleton in 'All in the Family.'" PLUS: Edith Bunker was no doormat.

"Community" stars may be responsible for Dan Harmon's return
In his tweet announcing his return, Harmon thanked Joel McHale -- which, says Alan Sepinwall, "squares with what I've heard from people close to the show:  several of the castmembers weren't happy with the season 4 scripts and pushed Sony for Harmon's return."

Could the Rolling Stones end up on "Downton Abbey"?

Hugh Bonneville has been pitching a cameo for Mick Jagger and his legendary bandmates, who are huge "Downton" fans: "Obviously they wouldn't play themselves, but they could be a rag-tag bunch of traveling entertainers or even a circus act."

Discovery pays tribute to its fallen "Storm Chasers"

Sunday's "Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster" was dedicated to Tim Samaras and Carl Young, who perished Friday during the 2nd tornado to strike Oklahoma in as many weeks. PLUS: 12 days ago, Samaras talked about chasing the first Oklahoma tornado.

Jay Leno victorious in his final May sweeps
"The Tonight Show" topped David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel in total viewers and the key 18-49 demo.

What happened to Jimmy Fallon's hand?

The "Late Night" star's left hand is heavily bandaged up.

49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh to make a cameo on today's "Judge Judy"
Harbaugh is such a huge "Judge Judy" fan -- she taught him to never tell a lie -- that he's appeared in local commercials promoting her show.

"The Newsroom" releases its "Desert Promo"
Check out the latest glimpse from Season 2.

Oprah's "Voice" special: She asks Carson Daly about the lack of breakout stars

Daly's response: "Oprah, when did the endgame become success? And what does it mean to be successful? What does it mean to be a breakout star?"

"Blue Bloods" promotes Marisa Ramirez as Jennifer Esposito's replacement

She'll become a series regular next season.

See Amy Poehler & Seth Meyers hanging out in real life

The former "SNL" Weekend Update duo were spotted grabbing coffee in NYC on Sunday.

Who should replace Matt Smith on "Doctor Who"?
How about somebody not white and/or male? PLUS: Jenna-Louise Coleman pays tribute to "very special friend" Smith, and bookies offer odds on Smith's replacement.

Kim Kardashian is expecting a girl
"Keeping Up With the Kardashians" revealed her upcoming baby's gender.

Heidi Klum celebrates 40 years
The "Project Runway"/"America's Got Talent" star celebrated entering her 40s with a hat-themed party.

Read Full Post
<p>Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley as Robb and Catelyn Stark in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Richard Madden and Michelle Fairley as Robb and Catelyn Stark in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

Review: 'Game of Thrones' - 'The Rains of Castamere'

A wedding doesn't go quite as planned, Bran discovers a new gift, and Dany's men make their move

A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I can always tell what's going on beneath a dress...

Read Full Post
<p>Hannah Ware of &quot;Betrayal&quot;</p>

Hannah Ware of "Betrayal"

Credit: ABC

DVR Gridlock 2013-14: Sunday Nights

Will ABC's 'Betrayal' shake things up? Ummm... No.
[Over the next six days, I'm going to be glancing, night-by-night, at how the primetime schedules have changed after the network announcements at upfronts. I'll be looking at how the various changes will impact the ratings races on each night, as well as my own DVRing habits. Readers can chime in on how their own DVRs will be impacted. And yes, this brief series assumes that anybody still watches TV on their TVs. I'm old-fashioned. Check out last year's DVR Gridlock installments.]
7:00 p.m.
ABC: "America's Funniest Home Videos"
CBS: "60 Minutes"
FOX: "The OT"
NBC: NFL Pre-Game
8:00 p.m. 
ABC: "Once Upon a Time"
CBS: "The Amazing Race"
FOX: "The Simpsons," "Bob's Burgers"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
9 p.m.
ABC: "Revenge"
CBS: "The Good Wife"
FOX: "Family Guy," "American Dad"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
10 p.m.
ABC: "Betrayal"
NBC: Sunday Night Football
What's Changed: Very little. Apologies for starting this project with the most boring night of the week. CBS' Sunday is untouched. NBC is still airing football. Other than not announcing anything animated for the 7 p.m. hour, FOX's Animation Domination isn't going anywhere. For the fall, the only new show is ABC's "Betrayal," which looks to capitalize on a "Revenge" lead-in that doesn't exist as the bloom continues to fall from that former rose. Things might get a bit more interesting in the spring when FOX is likely to introduce "Murder Police" and NBC will premiere the J.J. Abrams drama "Believe" and the Dermot Mulroney thriller "Crisis." I mean... Dermot Mulroney! Sunday will never be the same. But until that time, Sunday will be very much the same.
How the Ratings Race Is Impacted: It isn't. NBC will dominate all fall, while CBS will remain a competitive second in total viewers. In weeks with NFL overrun, people will complain, but CBS will also be a solid second in the 18-49 demographic, unless the overrun games were on FOX.  It's hard to know what it would take for "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge" to halt the viewer erosion that didn't really set in last fall, but became increasingly problematic as the spring progressed. Some people had enthusiastic words about the "Revenge" finale, but with Mike Kelly departing, is it already too late? And will the thought of a Peter Pan-heavy season really reinvigorate "Once Upon a Time"? Yeah. Probably not. With no star power, a weak lead-in and a ton of competition from both network rivals and cable, "Betrayal" is dead. It has no chance at success at all. If ABC had faith in "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" as a full-run series, rather than as a fill-in for the mothership, the network could have aired that at 9 p.m. and pushed "Revenge" to 10 and sacrificed "Betrayal" on Thursdays at 8 p.m. where nothing works anyway. Or, more logical still, ABC could have renewed "Body of Proof" and aired it at 10 p.m. on Sundays, where it would have done poorly, but almost certainly would have done better than "Betrayal" will do. I'm not ready to predict that "Betrayal" is going to be the first show cancelled, because ABC has let a bunch of weak shows air a bunch of episodes in this time slot, but I can't think of any new show on any network that has less chance of success.

My Predicted DVR: In the fall, things will remain unchanged. I'll still recap "Amazing Race" on ET, so that I can DVR FOX's 8 p.m. block and "Once Upon a Time," which remains just tantalizing enough that I'm not ready to quit. I'll stick with "The Good Wife" at 9 p.m. and then record "Revenge" in the fall, just to see how a new showrunner changes things. Assuming that "Revenge" continues with its Season 2 morass, I'll drop it at midseason for "Believe," which may or may not be good, but at least has a pedigree that demands some attention. I watch cable stuff at 10 p.m., either live or DVRed from 7 p.m. on East Coast feeds, but I'll give "Crisis" a couple episodes. 
How have the new schedules impacted your Sundays?
Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey' season premiere: 'Garden State of Emergency'

The adults act like children, fittingly enough, because of a playdate

The season premiere of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" revolves around two crisis situations: Hurricane Sandy and a kids' playdate. Of course, the latter is the bigger deal. Yeah, people lost power and their houses and even the housewives themselves had the furniture in their second homes, like, totally ruined. But the playdate involved Melissa and Teresa having to sit in the same room and pretend that they didn't hate each other for the sake of their kids and a Bravo camera crew. Needless to say, the possibility for destruction was much higher. 

Read Full Post
<p>Peter Sarsgaard in &quot;The Killing.&quot;</p>

Peter Sarsgaard in "The Killing."

Credit: AMC

Season premiere: 'The Killing' - 'The Jungle'/'That You Fear the Most'

What did everybody think of the AMC drama's return?

"The Killing" returned from the dead tonight on AMC with another two-hour premiere. I published my review earlier in the week. Now it's your turn. For those of you who came back tonight, what did you think? Did it feel like Veena Sud and company learned anything from the problems of seasons 1 and 2? Or did it feel like she just embraced the serial killer zeitgeist to spruce up the show? Were you shocked to see the expression on Linden's face in her introductory scene? Did you like the stuff with Peter Sarsgaard at the prison? The teen runaways in the Jungle? Holder in a suit? And will you watch again?

Have at it.

Read Full Post
<p>Tatiana Maslany as Alison on &quot;Orphan Black.&quot;</p>

Tatiana Maslany as Alison on "Orphan Black."

Credit: BBC America

Season finale review: 'Orphan Black' - 'Endless Forms Most Beautiful'

A thrilling end to an out-of-nowhere great first season

Last night, "Orphan Black" wrapped up what turned out to be a terrific first season on BBC America. Liane Bonin Starr has been covering the series for us for a while (here's her take on the finale), but I caught up just in time for some thoughts of my own (on the finale and the season), coming up just as soon as I throw your felt Christmas angel in the garbage disposal...

Read Full Post

Oklahoma tornado kills 2 Discovery Channel "Storm Chasers"

Oklahoma tornado kills 2 Discovery Channel "Storm Chasers"
Discovery Channel stars Tim Samaras and Carl Young, along with Samaras' son Paul, reportedly died while chasing Friday night's tornado. Tim's brother, Jim Samaras, wrote on Facebook: "They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they LOVED."

"All in the Family's" Jean Stapleton remembered by Norman Lear, Rob Reiner

Said Lear in a statement: "No one gave more profound 'How to be a Human Being' lessons than Jean Stapleton. Goodbye Edith, darling."

"Idol" alums Diana Degarmo and Ace Young get married
The Season 3 and Season 5 stars tied the knot Saturday in Hollywood. (See the photo)

USA decides against saving "Happy Endings"
The comedy's low ABC ratings was a big factor as USA execs were not willing to make a large investment in marketing and promotion.

Gay man who sued the voice of Elmo was allegedly attacked in NYC

Five men were taken into custody for allegedly assaulting Kevin Kiadii, who made headlines in April when he filed a federal lawsuit against Kevin Clash.

Lake Bell weds tattoo artist she met on "How to Make It in America"
Her new husband, Scott Campbell, played himself on the HBO series.

Read Full Post
<p>Jesse&nbsp;Eisenberg in &quot;Now You&nbsp;See Me&quot;</p>

Jesse Eisenberg in "Now You See Me"

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Tell us what you thought of 'Now You See Me"

Louis Leterrier's hocus pocus caper flick is now in theaters

One of the two films besting Will Smith and son at the box office this weekend, surprisingly, is Louis Leterrier's "Now You See Me," the magic caper movie that has drawn pretty poor reviews along with those dollars and cents. "This might be the most disposable film of the summer, and as long as you're not looking for anything deeper, it's fine," HitFix's Drew McWeeny wrote. "But the closer you look, the less there is, and ultimately, there's nothing real about it." But what did YOU think of the film? That's what we're looking for here, so rifle off those takes in the comments section (if you have them) and feel free to vote in our poll below.

Read Full Post
10 Best Sketches of 'Saturday Night Live' Season 38
Credit: NBC

10 Best Sketches of 'Saturday Night Live' Season 38

Ex-porn stars, Bill Hader's farewell, Christoph Waltz as Djesus, and more
Last week, HitFix broke down the worst ten moments of the thirty-eighth season of “Saturday Night Live.” This week, we’re ending on a high note by looking at the absolute best of the past year. While this wasn’t a strong season on the whole, there were still plenty of amazing moments strewn throughout. Some of what follows are 
individual sketches. Some are overall trends. All represent “SNL” operating at its peak.

Check out our picks for the ten best here:

Read Full Post
<p>Nicki Minaj at the Billboard Music Awards</p>

Nicki Minaj at the Billboard Music Awards

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Music Power Rankings: Daft Punk, Kanye 'Yeezus' West and Nicki Minaj

Who else makes this week's list?

1. Daft Punk: The French duo debuts on the Billboard 200 at No. 1 with a staggering 339,000 copies sold, the second-largest sales week of the year. Mon Dieu! Between Daft Punk and Phoenix, the French are overtaking the charts!

2. Nicki Minaj:
She announces her resignation from “American Idol” via Twitter, and states she intends to “focus on rap” for her third studio album. Ummm, what has she been focusing on for the first two?

3. Mariah Carey: Like Minaj, she also quits “American Idol,” presumably NOT to make a rap album.

4. Keith Urban: He does not quit “American Idol”... yet.

5. Kanye West: The cover of his new album, "Yeezus," supposedly has him posing on a cross. It's good to see that impending fatherhood has cured his martyr complex.

6. Adam Levine: He jokes  “I hate this country!,” after two of his contestants are voted off “The Voice.”  And actually has to usher a formal apology. Get a sense of humor, people.

7. 2 Chainz: He just keeps getting bigger as “We Own It” climbs the charts. The song is featured in the movie “Fast & Furious,” but the film title could just as easily be describing his career. 

8. Little Mix: Looks like the British female teen queens will be a little popular in the States too as their debut soars to No. 2 on the iTunes album chart. They were formed for “The X Factor” just like... get ready... One Direction.

9. Hanson: The band of brothers celebrates its 21st birthday (!!!) by bowing MmmHops beer.  Proceeds will go to  Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. And in an MMMBop you know...

10. Velvet Underground: More than 45 years later, the VU and the Andy Warhol Foundation of settled their dispute over Warhol’s cover art for 1967’s “The Velvet Underground & Nico. Sometimes a banana is just a banana...


Read Full Post
"Orphan Black"

 "Orphan Black"

Credit: BBC America

'Orphan Black' season finale recap: 'Endless Forms Most Beautiful'

Things get bloody, ugly and dark for all of the clones

Watching the season finale of "Orphan Black," I couldn't stop thinking about intellectual property law. Really. So often we hear about how the law lags behind technology, how governments and WIPO busily holds meetings and issue reports while those who wish to do so take advantage of every loophole, staying one step ahead of those who can't quite imagine what's already happening. "Orphan Black" takes the issue to one (mostly) logical conclusion, but you can bet this mess won't be resolved in any fictional courts next season.

Read Full Post

Matt Smith is leaving 'Doctor Who'

Matt Smith is leaving "Doctor Who"
After four years, Smith will exit "Doctor Who" at the end of the year, after the Christmas special. Smith released a statement, saying: "It's been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with 'the ginger, the nose and the impossible one'. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls."

Read Full Post